Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Tuesday, April 6, 2004


Page 3


Starr Again Named Dean of Pepperdine Law School


By a MetNews Staff Writer


Former Whitewater Independent Counsel Kenneth W. Starr, who was named dean of Pepperdine Law School in 1997 but withdrew before taking up his duties, was again named to the post yesterday.

In a statement, Pepperdine President Andrew K. Benton said that the Malibu-based school had chosen “the best candidate from a field of eminently qualified candidates” after a six-month national search. He called the appointment of Starr among the “most important academic appointments” in the history of the University.

Starr, currently a partner in the law firm of Kirkland & Ellis LLP, is to assume his new duties August 1.

Starr was previously accepted an appointment to lead the law school and a new public policy school at Pepperdine in February of 1997. He originally said he would take up the positions by Aug. 1 of that year, but quickly bowed to intense public criticism and agreed to delay his departure to conclude the investigation into Whitewater and related matters involving then-President Bill Clinton and then-First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton.

After coming under criticism from Democrats who accused him of a conflict of interest, based on large donations to the school by publisher, philanthropist, and Clinton critic Richard Mellon Scaife, Starr withdrew his acceptance of both Pepperdine jobs in April of 1998.

He wrote to the university, saying his work as independent counsel had “expanded considerably and the end is not yet in sight.”

Starr has been a partner with Kirkland & Ellis LLP since 1993. He earned his undergraduate degree at George Washington University, and has a master’s degree from Brown University.

His law degree is from Duke University School of Law.

Starr was solicitor general of the United States from 1989 to 1993 and from 1983 to 1989 he was a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. 

He was counselor to then-U.S. Attorney General William French Smith from 1981 to 1983. Early in his career, he clerked for then-U.S. Chief Justice Warren E. Burger. 

He is the author of numerous law review articles and in 2002 published a book entitled “First Among Equals: The Supreme Court in American Life.”

He has taught as an adjunct professor at New York University Law School, been a distinguished visiting professor at George Mason University Law School, and previously lectured at Pepperdine.

The Dean Search Committee at Pepperdine began reviewing a national pool of candidates in August, Darryl Tippens, Pepperdine’s provost and search committee co-chair, said in a statement.

Tippens said the six finalists included three Pepperdine law professors: Interim Dean Richard Cupp, Charles Nelson, and Associate Provost Timothy Perrin. The other finalists were Edward Larson of the University of Georgia and William Murray Tabb of the University of Oklahoma College of Law.

Pepperdine’s School of Law has approximately 650 students enrolled in its J.D. program and more than 100 students pursuing an LL.M in Dispute Resolution or the Master of Dispute Resolution degree. The School has a full-time faculty of 35.


Copyright 2004, Metropolitan News Company